MessageSpace: “We know where you live!”

What was I saying in my earlier post about MessageSpace and private data?

Yesterday morning I twittered about an email from MessageSpace. Well, a copy of that same message has arrived by post to my home as a letter.

messagespace

Apart from moments like their founder/adviser/whatever getting pissed up at lunch and throwing bad lawyers at me, I haven’t had any business dealings with MessageSpace… and on that occasion you may recall Donal Blaney making a lot of noise about having to trace my address (at my expense) if I wouldn’t provide it.

MessageSpace have no legitimate reason as a business to have my ex-directory details on file. I shouldn’t even be on any marketing database of theirs.

I’d ask where these details came from and what Jag thinks he’s playing at, but, as the contents make clear, one more reply from me and I’m for the Big House:

For the Attention of Mr Tim Ireland

Dear Tim

You have called our office dozens and dozens of times in the last two days. You sometimes call me on my mobile phone, my direct voicemail, the main switchboard and even my direct line repeatedly.

You have no business relationship with us. You are not a client of ours. We do not want to speak to you. This has been made clear to you on numerous occasions.

Your behaviour is disrupting our business, upsetting our staff and is basically harassment. This is a written request that you please do not call or email our offices or staff.

If you persist further in this harassment we will seek a legal remedy. All further correspondence from us will be through our legal representatives.

Many thanks,

jag.
EOS Online Media Limited.

See, this is where Jag and I don’t see eye-to-eye on tactics; when I was being genuinely harassed recently, instead of contacting the police what I should have done was make sexual advances at my attacker.

(rolls eyes)

I sent this reply immediately, so maybe Jag’s already called the rozzers on me. Or perhaps a few toughs will happen by and ask me what I’m wearing. It’s all very comforting:

Jag,

Your use of numbers is misleading*, and you yourself admitted to playing the childish game of dodging my calls and ignoring my emails. You even laughed it off, if you recall.

You did this after your adviser/publisher/bottle-washer Paul Staines published false claims about me while refusing a right of reply or any correspondence.

You did this after another of the key bloggers in your network did exactly the same thing.

You intervened in the first instance, but had difficulty in the second and decided that the best course of action was to ignore me and hope that I would go away.

Strangely enough, I didn’t take multiple false claims of criminal activity and mental illness lightly so soon after being falsely accused of being a paedophile.

I appreciated it even less when the behaviour appeared to spread though your network via Harry Cole, and that you saw fit to ignore my emails and then my calls about that, preferring instead to spin the matter as being about those same calls and emails, as if I had no good reason to be concerned about what was going on with your network of blogs.

That’s a game played by Dale and Staines and you know it’s bull.

And don’t you dare make out that the staff member who attempted to humiliate me today** feels upset or harassed, as he was clearly taking the mick and felt throughout and afterwards that he had the upper hand

But, if you wish, we need never speak again.

We’ll just take it as read that your network is openly hostile toward me and I will take whatever steps I deem necessary to deal with that situation for as long as that hostility continues.

Alternatively, you could talk some sense into your bloggers and act like a damn professional.

(In Staine’s case, I regard the current situation to be acceptable. But Dale needs to do away with the two ‘parish’ posts and post a correction as discussed, and Cole needs to withdraw his ‘shady’ comment that groups me with Draper. Additionally, now all of this has happened, you need to make it clear to your publishers that they are not helping by piling on top of me, as you and I have unfinished business for as long these attacks continue.)

Tim Ireland

[*The only way it could be described as going over a single plural of a dozen is if he includes calls to the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics, but then he would have to explain why they appear to be operating so closely with his organisation that a call to one amounts to a call to the other in his eyes. In his haste/anger, he also appears to have counted calls to his direct line twice; “You sometimes call me on… my direct voicemail… and even my direct line” FFS, his direct line redirects directly to his direct voicemail. Duh.]

[**Tuesday.]

If there were any legal purpose/function to a letter (as opposed to an email), then surely it would have arrived by registered/recorded post. But to be honest with you, I doubt there’s any purpose to this letter other than to intimidate me.

Put it in context, picture yourself in Jag’s position and further imagine that you’re filing a harassment complaint, and trying to explain to the police why you thought it a good idea at the time to respond to ‘harassment’ with “hilarious” sexual propositions and superfluous letters to an ex-directory address.

I imagine the only reason Jag didn’t also fax this was because the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics were busy sending photocopies of their arses to someone they wanted off their backs.

Regardless, rather than risk any message to the MessageSpace office that might be interpreted spun as an invasion of their personal privacy or some such nonsense, I believe I’ll just blog the next message:

Dear Jag,

Want me off your back? Don’t make, aid or enable claims about me that cannot be backed with evidence, and then refuse to even correspond with me.

Then talk to your network members and warn them, nicely, that it doesn’t make you look good when members of your network are attacking me or anyone else in this way, and inform them, nicely, that you won’t tolerate such unprofessional behaviour on your network.

I’m not a bloody fool and it’s clear that – while the arrangement might be all legal-like – Staines plays a role there that’s far more central than the paperwork makes out. In fact, it’s likely that he has it set up that way just to avoid confrontations like this.

Yet here we are, nonetheless.

As long as Staines and his mates persist with this habit of making malicious claims about me that they cannot back with evidence, then my fight is with MessageSpace.

(Yes, this even includes the newly-inducted LabourList, and this even applies if I have to endure a repeat of last time, when Tough Guys For MessageSpace came out of the woodwork to have a go at me because Paul Staines couldn’t even back his legal threats with evidence.)

This will always be the case and it will never change, and it is the price you pay when you decided to run your business like a club for bully-boys.

The two options open to you are to throw everything you have at me in order to royally f**k me over, or take a step back and realise that what you are defending is a repeated pattern across your network of bloggers making multiple false claims about me that are malicious in nature and unsupported by evidence… and that these bloggers are often the same people that you yourself acknowledge are part of Paul Staines’ political network that he runs and maintains out of your office (while wearing an electronic condom):

Paul spends at least about 8 hours a day on Guido, chasing up leads, coordinating with Tim from ConHome, Iain, and a few LibDems as well. He usually brings his own laptop in, and he’s on his Irish mobile, so there aren’t any MessageSpace resources specifically used by Guido. The firm doesn’t have a closed-network policy and anyone is allowed to do whatever they feel like doing (a bit Google-esque, but we’re a few billion $ off the mark…), as long as they contribute to the firm they’re allowed to do as they please. – Jag Singh

Dizzy/Phil and Iain and Tim Montgomerie and Theo Spark and Guido share lots of information, since they actually do coordinate stories that are anti-Labour, etc. They do talk about you, but it’s the usual “that loon is sending me e-mails in the middle of the night again” banter… – Jag Singh

(Incidentally, your last email to me was sent in the middle of the night. Does that make you a loon? I’m also curious to know how you know about this correspondence of Paul’s, why it’s any of your business when you claim it’s none of your business, and just what kind of business you think you’re running there, when Paul Staines is carefully distanced from the shop-front but at the same time you’re reading his emails and boasting admin-level access to his order-order.com website.)

The only shred of anything that might pass for substance that these jokers have to throw at me is how upset or persistent I might become when responding to those attacks when they occur; this typically involves claims of mental illness that are just as calculated, malicious, damaging and insidious as false claims of a sexual deviancy, if not more so.

And now you’re at it.

I’m not in your face for shits and giggles, Jag… I’m genuinely sick to death of being attacked in this way, and we had already established that you agree with me in principle, and that you are in a position to do something about it.

But Iain was more stubborn than you imagined, so now you’re making out that my being persistent about you being consistent is the reason why you weren’t doing anything in the first place.

I’d congratulate you on the invention of a novel form of time-travel, but the sad fact is that you’re not willing to do anything because Iain told you to piss off, and you didn’t have the guts, professionalism and/or economic clout required to simply chuck him off your network or even suspend him until he played ball.

Well, too bad. I’m a stubborn bugger, too… and on top of that, I’m in the right here.

Unless, of course, you can prove that I’m a mentally unstable criminal currently in the pay of Downing Street and/or the Labour Party.

Can you do this?

If not, just admit it and then sort it out; right now you’re holding up the works and wasting my valuable time.

Tim Ireland








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 3 Comments

Goodbye, Derek Draper

You may recall, before Draper was foolish enough to hand the moral high ground to blog-cheats and smear-merchants Iain Dale and Paul Staines, that he made a show of accepting videos from anonymous members of the public, when he was almost certainly making them himself or getting a cross-eyed, tone-deaf monkey on work experience to do it for him (and examples of this fine work can be seen here and here).

Derek persisted with the line that he would be accepting anonymously-contributed campaign material, and I wasn’t getting through to him with words about how unwise this was, so…

The following video took about an hour to make and was submitted to Draper anonymously on 25 January 2009 (the same day this private test version was uploaded). I suspect that Draper smelled a rat, which is why it wasn’t published, but it had the desired effect regardless; no further ‘anonymous’ animations were produced/accepted/released by LabourList after this video was submitted.

Obviously I planned on revealing my little secret at some stage, and today seems to be the last appropriate day available to us:

Guardian – Derek Draper steps down in wake of No 10 smears scandal
LabourList – Statement from Derek Draper

So… see if you can spot what makes this video special… but (NSFW warning) while the video itself is totally work-safe, you should take my advice and avoid conducting any Easter Egg investigation in a professional* workplace.

LabourList: Goodbye, Derek Draper

(*So if you work for MessageSpace, go for it.)

[Psst! If you would like a hint, the file name I gave my attachment when sending was ‘calm.avi’]








Posted in Flash Music Video, Games and Objects, The Political Weblog Movement, Video | 2 Comments

Keyword broadcasting

I recently made an information request (details later) and one of the things I asked for was details of searches made using my name and/or the name of my website.

I asked for this data and (depending on what they find) I have a right to this data because of a nifty new smear effect/tactic that you may not be aware of called ‘keyword broadcasting’.

With keyword broadcasting you don’t really need to publish/host anything on a website to effect a smear; instead, you merely have to hammer away at Google by [method specifics censored*], associate one or two ugly words with the name of your target, and Bob’s your uncle with something to hide.

Let me show you what I mean:

Recently, Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) cleverly pointed out the related searches that appear when you search for ‘gordon brown’. Well, actually, he had to stretch to the more contrived option ‘gordon brown is’, but check out his post and you’ll get the idea:

If you extend the search to ‘gordon brown’ and type an ‘r’, you’ll see that just below the upper threshold is the ugly ‘rocking horse’ smear that Paul Staines regularly airs on his website:

Do a search for ‘paul staines’ and what you’ll see is the following (naturally occurring) pattern:

Do a search for my name today and you’ll find a recent addition to the related searches:

See that ‘bloggerhead’ (i.e. not ‘bloggerheads‘) there? That is brand spanking new, and a side effect of multiple searches used by Glen Jenvey and/or his associates in order to find past/current locations of this smear.

This is a slightly more harmless side effect of the general administration of these smears, but it shows how easily the full effect could be achieved if one were to know what they were doing.

The demand threshold is lower for less famous/established names/figures, so MPs, councillors and candidates will want to be especially wary of this tactic.

(*I’d go into detail on this and other certain specifics required to make this work, but we all know that this would be a bad idea.)








Posted in Search Engine Optimisation, The Political Weblog Movement, UK Libel Law | Comments Off

MessageSpace: the unprofessional network

Recently I was forced to talk with Jag Singh, Chief Information Officer at MessageSpace about the conduct of Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’), one of the bloggers in that banner advertising network. During a conversation where we established that MessageSpace would not consider hosting ads on a BNP site or an unregulated forum such as 4chan, Jag finally realised that his company could not claim to be a professional advertising network if they knowingly generated revenue via authors who knowingly published hateful/malicious/actionable claims… especially when those authors had no evidence to back these claims.

[Note – Watch out for spin: I was not and am not asking for the removal of a political opinion I don’t agree with, but instead the removal of false and damaging accusations that cannot be backed with evidence. Normally, one would/could retain a lawyer to compel an author to put up or shut up, but there’s also a legitimate ‘free market’ approach one can take by appealing to advertisers or, in this case, an advertising network.]

Happily, Paul Staines saw sense in protecting his cash intake by maintaining a (barely) professional stance, and he removed those false claims from his website.

Unfortunately, that same day Iain Dale, another MessageSpace blogger, also made and published multiple false claims about me.

He was approached by Jag with the same appeal regarding a professional approach.

Iain Dale responded in a way that one might describe as unprofessional.

Jag retained him on the network, anyway.

(One might be tempted to think that he put up with this behaviour because Iain is an advertiser as well as a publisher on the MessageSpace network, because he pays for ads for his magazine Total Politics. However, Jag had revealed earlier that Iain is not only a stubborn bugger who will lay into me “every opportunity he gets”… but also a bit of a slowpoke/deadbeat when it comes to making payments. I suppose even if Iain makes those payments later than any other advertiser on the network as Jag claims, the payments still get made, so perhaps Jag is willing to put up with his nonsense on that basis. It would appear, however, that Iain can afford to do without MessageSpace if it comes to it; Jag also revealed at one stage that Iain had made “about 5k” from articles and media appearances to do with ‘smeargate’ alone. Nice work if you can get it… bloody glorious if you can get it by publishing lies about others while playing the victim of smears.)

Jag Singh then inexplicably began to copy Iain’s tired old technique of ignoring my emails and not returning my calls. At one stage he tried to laugh this tactic off by saying that it “works with some people”.

Not long after this, another MessageSpace blogger Harry Cole (aka ‘Tory Bear’) took it upon himself to describe me as a ‘shady’ character and group me with Derek Draper, providing only Iain Dale’s misleading posts and false claims as justification for his use of ‘shady’ and refusing to engage under comments or withdraw that what he could not support with evidence.

Now, Harry Cole is a bothersome gnat and not usually worth bothering with, but it’s clear that he saw Iain getting away with it and fancied his chances in the circumstances. I saw a pattern developing and wanted it to end, not matter how keen Jag might be to dodge or ignore the issue.

(The way he’s been playing it down, you’d think this was a disagreement about boiled or poached eggs for breakfast. I’d like to see him face repeated false accusations of corruption, paedophilia, and/or mental illness with no right of reply and watch how calmly he takes it.)

Several attempts were made to reach Jag Singh and stop the rot, but he was not answering his emails or his mobile or returning his messages… and he appeared to be ‘out to lunch’ for most if not all of Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

It was in these circumstances that several calls were made to Jag Singh’s direct line (answering machine) and mobile number (answering machine), and the following two calls were made to the main switchboard at MessageSpace. I have recordings of both, but for now at least you’ll have to make do with transcripts:

The morning call to the MessageSpace switchboard:

Hello, MessageSpace
Yes, is Jag Singh there, please?
I’m afraid he’s out at the moment.
I’ll reach him on his mobile then.

(Note – This may have been the same person I spoke to on the second call, but that didn’t register until later, thus my assertion in this next call that it was my first call to this person when it was most likely my second.)

The afternoon call to the MessageSpace switchboard:

Hello, MessageSpace
Yes, is Jag Singh there, please?
I’m afraid he isn’t.
Is he still out, then?
Yeah.
Is Paul Staines available?
He’s out.
He’s out, too?
Yeah.
Is anyone there?
I’m here.
Who are you?
Who’s that? Who are you?
[long pause and protracted sigh]
This really tries my patience. My name is Tim Ireland. Who’s available?

Sorry? I’m available. What do you want to say?
Knowing who you are would be a start.
Well, knowing who you’d be would be a start. You’re the one who rang.
I just told you my name.
No you didn’t
Yes, I did. I said; “My name is Tim Ireland.”
Oh, yeah?
And this is…?
My name’s Nick.
Your name’s ‘Nick’.
Yeah. What are you wearing?
I beg your pardon?
What are you wearing?
[pause]
I’ve just called the office of MessageSpace and you’re asking me what I’m wearing.
Yeah.
What’s your interest in what I’m wearing, Nick?
Well, I’ve seen a picture of you, and I find you quite an attractive man.
Well, thank you very much. I’m taken, though Nick – and I frankly find that the whole… trail you’ve gone off on quite… offensive. Is it possible that I could speak to somebody in authority?
I’m in authority.
You’re in authority?
Yeah, I am.
Is Kelly about?
Kelly who?
Kelly Nightingale.
No, Kelly’s on holiday.
So you’re the most senior person there…
Yeah.
… and you’re asking me what I’m wearing…
Yeah.
… because you find me to be a very attractive man.
I do.
OK, thank you very much. Nick, do you have a last name?
I do, actually, yeah.
Would you mind sharing it with me?
I got it off my father, but I’m not going to give it to you.
I beg your pardon?
Well, I’d like to give you something, you know? As I say, I find you a very attractive man.
And you’d like to share that with the world, I take it.
No, of course I wouldn’t. It’s a private conversation, just between you and I.
Is it now?
Yes it is.
Unfortunately mate, it can be shared with your employer.
Who’s my employer?
MessageSpace.
I didn’t… say they were my employer, did I?
So you’re just hanging around their office, answering their phones.
Yeah.
So Jag’s going to be quite surprised if I talk to him and say that some guy called Nick answered the phone and didn’t work for him and…
… and asked what kind of underwear you were wearing.
Exactly, yes.
Yeah. You never know; he might be surprised, he might be pleasantly surprised. Who knows?
So who do I speak to there if I want to talk about advertising on MessageSpace and who your current advertisers are?
Um… probably nobody, Tim, because I don’t think you’ve actually got enough money to afford to be able to do it, so… why don’t you just like… maybe… I think… what’s the phrase I’m looking for? “Get a life!”
Uh, yes, OK Nick. You don’t even know what I’m calling about mate, so I fail to see why you’re being so… evasive.
Tim, would you please go away, and just get on with… doing what you do?
Well, this is the first time I’ve called you today. I really can’t see what your problem is.
It’s you. OK, well thank you very much. I’ve got things to do, so…
So do I, mate; I’ve got a few things to chase up today. I’d like to know where Jag is for a start, and if you could possibly take a message for me…
*click*

This is the second time I’ve had difficulty with the MessageSpace network that has resulted in people in their office attacking me in an unprofessional manner; the last time involved Paul Staines going out on a long, liquid lunch and throwing a dubious legal threat at me via not-very-good-lawyer Donal Blaney.

Jag Singh responded to this latest show of unprofessional behaviour by making another false accusation of harassment* against me, and by describing this response by one of his team members as ‘hilarious’.

I didn’t think it at all amusing, because I’m being falsely accused of shady dealings and criminal activities and mental illness by multiple participants in his two-bit banner advertising network, it’s not the first time that something like this has happened, the problem appears to be growing, and it’s happening at the same time as I am genuinely being harassed by an increasing number of people falsely accusing me of sex crimes against children.

1. The last thing I need is some tosspot responding to my concerns by trying to humiliate me with faux-homosexual come-ons.

2. As I’ve said in an earlier post, I don’t regard the timing of these attacks to be a coincidence; I am being kicked while I am down and Iain started the trend with this ‘clever’ stunt that he has yet to explain, but refuses to discuss.

All of this jackal-like action revolves around MessageSpace**, which can now be fairly described as an unprofessional two-bit network of rogue publishers. Those wishing to advertise with them deserve to know that.

Those wanting to work as a publisher with MessageSpace should also be aware that Jag once made assurances to me about the security of my personal data should I join the network (i.e. along the lines of “Paul Staines will never see any of your private details”) and that I no longer place any faith in those assurances, as it’s obvious to me that MessageSpace is being run like a club for boys:

“The firm doesn’t have a closed-network policy and anyone is allowed to do whatever they feel like doing (a bit Google-esque, but we’re a few billion $ off the mark…), as long as they contribute to the firm they’re allowed to do as they please.” – Jag Singh

Finally, its worth noting that anyone wishing to discuss any of this with MessageSpace might have to make do with emailing Jag on a nondescript Gmail address; Jag tried to draw me away from using his main/MessageSpace email addresses in our conversation about the conduct of bloggers in his network because – he claimed – of the risk that his email might be bugged.

I don’t care if that’s a lie or the truth from Jag; my personal data’s not going anywhere near that neighbourhood.

(*If you don’t want me to call you, don’t email me your bloody phone number. If you only want me to call you once, try answering the first call or responding to messages within 24 hours. If you’re seriously feeling harassed, call the police or shut the hell up. Falsely claiming or implying that an offence has been committed or an investigation is underway is a smear in itself. Implying that someone is a stalker, refusing them any right of reply and then yelling ‘stalker’ all over again when they won’t stand for it… well, that’s just taking the piss. Jag should know better than this, especially after Iain Dale revealed he was full of it by today again threatening to file a harassment complaint… that he had earlier claimed to Jag had already been filed as an attempt to justify his refusal to enter into dialogue.)

(**Jag also revealed this afternoon that Shane Greer – who has also published false and malicious claims about me – had called and revealed details of a phone call to Total Politics that was none of his damn business. Essentially the same thing happened with the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics, but this is more likely to do with them sharing office space, something that Jag is keen to deny, even though they share a fax number. This raises questions about how close these three ‘politically neutral’ entities are, and is part of the reason why I’m being so ruthless with revelations here after Jag so kindly gave me the go-ahead to reveal what I damn well please with the glorious words; “publish whatever you have to”. I even called Jag back after he had had some time to think about what he had offered, but he decided not to return that call, so tough.)








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 3 Comments

Andrew Gilligan in OCTOPUPPET: a short film about sock-puppets

I am hoping that you will like my new video very much. It’s all about a little incident involving Andrew Gilligan and sock-puppets, and I was right in the middle of the spectacular James Bond fantasy finale when I tripped over a little man with his own James Bond fantasy finale on the horizon.

Anyway, it’s finally finished, and ready for your viewing pleasure:


Andrew Gilligan in OCTOPUPPET: a short film about sock-puppets from Tim Ireland on Vimeo.

There are a few things that make this new video special, but one of the neatest bits is that all major threads relevant to the Andrew Gilligan sock-puppeting event (and external to bloggerheads.com) have been preserved in this video with some 350+ screen captures forming the 14-second ‘rush’ sequence. No matter what happens to these websites in the future, the relevant bloggage will be locked up inside this animation like a little time capsule… so future generations may know the greatness of Andrew Gilligan and his works.

(A moment of amusement for you; mid-production, I left a message to that effect in one of those since-abandoned threads, only to provoke a gloriously typical if not entirely self-aware response from the sad sock-puppeting bastard who constantly trolls the Liberal Conspiracy site under the name ‘cjcjc’.)

All credits etc. are also in the video, but here I’d like to send a special message of thanks to comment regular Scotch, who was most helpful during the creative process and the long dry spells.

UPDATE – Turns out my timing’s good, as Andrew Gilligan is busy disgracing himself again. Read all about it here, here and here, and (more recently) here.








Posted in Flash Music Video, Games and Objects, The Political Weblog Movement, Video | 6 Comments

G20: Callum Winton may wish to revise his eyewitness statement(s)

Callum Winton is a professional photographer who has recently started blogging, and was present at the G20 event where Ian Tomlinson was assaulted by a disguised police officer and later died.

I need to note from the outset that Winton appears to have been present for the entire event, but clearly did not witness the actual assault itself.

This footage taken by a member of the public and passed to the IPCC and the Guardian newspaper includes footage of the photographer, as he notes himself on his blog:

“New footage has been released of the Ian Tomlinson incident …. and in it plain as day is wee me taking pictures (long black coat, white shirt, blue jeans). http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2009/apr/21/g20-ian-tomlinson-new-video” – Callum Winton on his blog (source)

This first screen capture (00:31) shows Winton walking past Tomlinson as the police line advances toward them:

screen capture from video: click to play

The assault is not captured in this footage, but the camera swings around just in time to catch Tomlinson hitting the ground, and to show that Winton’s view of Tomlinson is blocked by a building/pillar. This second screen capture (00:49 and 01:05) and shows Winton seemingly unaware of Tomlinson’s assault as he turns away to inspect his camera:

screen capture from video: click to play

Note how Callum Winton is oblivious to the crowd’s reaction to the event.

Note also that the police are herding the public, which leads to the assault preceding Tomlinson’s collapse.

The first Tomlinson video to be released will help you to better appreciate these aspects and the general surroundings/mood at the time of the assault.

Also, please keep in mind that something between 3 to 5 minutes passes (timeline) before Tomlinson collapses after walking off in the same direction as Winton.

So, time passes, and Tomlinson collapses. Callum Winton does not witness the collapse, but happens across the prone figure of Tomlinson. He takes some pictures, notices the man is not well, then goes back to the police line and alerts them to Tomlinson’s condition:

“When I was there I found a man that had collapsed. I took a couple of pics of him and then I realised he was in trouble. So I ran and got the police, but by the time we got back I think he’d passed away.” – Callum Winton on his blog (source)

Callum Winton then returns to the scene of Tomlinson’s collapse at the same time as the police.

Compare the picture taken upon his return showing the woman protestor treating Tomlinson to this other video provided to the Guardian newspaper, where four things can be seen in quick succession:

00:10 – The woman protestor treating Tomlinson is moved away by police, who proceed to treat Tomlinson themselves

00:18 – A single clear (probably plastic) bottle is thrown, angering and dismaying the crowd

00:23 – Callum Winton, now on the other side of Tomlinson, can be seen no more than 12-15ft feet from where that single missile landed (after striking a police officer on the arm at about waist height)

00:25 – Mr ‘Back The Fuck Up’ swings into action, making it clear to those not within immediate earshot that someone is hurt. The crowd is unhappy, but eager to cooperate. No other missiles are captured in the footage.

It is at this stage that we turn to a Sun article published the day after this event.

Callum Winton appears to be the single source for this entire article, pictures and all, though when he blogs about it, he appears to be quite surprised:

“A new day and a new surprise. One of the pics I took of the man last night was used by The Sun newspaper on pg.6″ – Callum Winton on his blog (source)

(Note – Mr Winton later blogs that he intends to donate the “fair price for any freelance images they’ve used” to charity.)

The best I can make out from what’s been published by The Sun, and what’s been published and claimed by Callum Winton, is that a Sun reporter took a statement at some stage and Winton was unaware that he was doing so and/or was unaware that the man taking it was a Sun reporter or somehow connected to that newspaper. However it happened, Callum Winton winds up as the only named witness in a short article also containing his pictures:

Keen tabloid observers will note the headline that might suggest to casual observers that it was the bottles themselves that killed Tomlinson.

Also, take note of the claim that beer bottles and cans were thrown, as we’ll be getting back to this shortly:

The Sun – Man dies as bottles lobbed at rescuers (2 Apr, 2009)

POLICE were battered with beer bottles and cans as they desperately tried to save a dying man at the height of the G20 riots in London last night.

The casualty, believed to be in his mid-40s, was knocked to the floor amid the mob near the Bank of England.

But when cops struggled through the crowd to reach him, they were pelted with missiles. They finally got to him and set up a cordon as two ambulances rushed to the scene.

Officers gave the man mouth-to-mouth before paramedics tried in vain to save him.

Photographer Callum Winton, 37, said: “A guy was lying on the ground. His eyes were glazed over, he didn’t look at all well.

“I told the police and they tried to reach him — but were being forced back by the protesters. There were bottles and missiles raining down on them.”

The man, shaven headed and wearing a Millwall FC top with a grey T-shirt over the top, died at the scene.

Callum added: “Police were trying to break up the crowd, which was getting out of control, throwing things at buildings.

“Officers charged and pushed them back to get them away from buildings. It was chaos.”

Please take care to note that while this article does so poorly and is prone to misinterpretation, it does relate a sequence of a events where police were pelted with multiple missiles prior to their treatment of Tomlinson, and not during as some people have been suggesting.

The police, for example, claimed at one stage that they felt compelled to move Mr Tomlinson because of the missiles thrown during his treatment:

“The officers took the decision to move him as during this time a number of missiles – believed to be bottles – were being thrown at them.” – Met statement (source)

And Callum Winton made a similar claim on his weblog on the day of the event:

screen capture from Callum's blog

“I took [this picture] while the police were working on reviving the man amid flying bottles and breaking glass.” – Callum Winton on his blog (source)

At or about the same time that Callum Winton was taking this picture (large version), the video footage described above showing the cordon/treatment of Tomlinson was being captured from almost directly behind him:

screen capture from video: click to play

Callum Winton is unlikely to have seen and heard something very different to what was captured on video here, because as Winton himself has confirmed via email, he is in the foreground of the video footage while looking at the same event (i.e. he sees and hears the almost the same visual and audio information that the camera records).

That video footage shows a single clear bottle being thrown. That bottle does not appear to smash on impact, and is most likely plastic from what we can see/hear of the footage.

The police were certainly not “working on reviving the man amid flying bottles and breaking glass”, unless the mood changed quite suddenly after this footage was taken just in time for Callum Winton to capture the image he claims to have taken “amid flying bottles and breaking glass” (that doesn’t actually show any flying bottles or breaking/broken glass) just before the police moved Tomlinson to avoid the “number* of missiles” being thrown a them.

(*People sometimes forget that ‘one’ is a number.)

I’ve since emailed Callum Winton and asked him about a few of these conflicts and inconsistencies:

1. Three times he avoided answering a specific question about him being the likely/implied source of the claim that beer bottles and cans were thrown. He would not confirm or deny being the source of this claim, but I should point out that it’s just as likely that this was added as (ahem) a dramatic touch by someone at The Sun with an active if limited imagination and/or an anti-protestor agenda. (Callum Winton’s statements on his blog also make it clear that he did not see Tomlinson being ‘knocked down’ by the mob or anyone else.)

2. Callum Winton claimed that “3 Bottles were thrown. No cans.” and that “they were thrown and hit the building above our heads so that we were showered in glass.” He also pointed out, as he did in his statement to The Sun, that “all the protestors turned against the people throwing them shouting at them to stop as the police medics were trying to help Mr.T”, so while he appears to be describing the same events seen in this video, there are a number of glass missiles that should be visible and audible (according to his account), but are not.

3. I say ‘glass missiles‘ because Mr Winton also stated that he did not actually see any missiles in their pre-impact state. He could only say that “it was glass in one form or another” and “solid like bottles”. So The Sun article opens with a paragraph stating that; “police were battered with beer bottles and cans”… but the only named witness in that article did not see any cans thrown and was not in a position to identify any missile as a beer bottle specifically, or even as a glass bottle generally.

Mr Winton had nothing of relevance to add after seeing the video footage that casts so much doubt on his version of events, but he did take the time to assure me that it was suddenly none of my business, and that if I wished to speak with him further it would have to be on a professional basis:

“I’m a working photographer, so if you want a couple of hours of my time then you can book me for a portrait session. You bring bottles and I’ll bring a camera ;o)” – Callum Winton

I think that last part may have been a joke, but being a humourless lefty I can’t really be sure.

Anyway, just between you and me and everyone else who thinks this is their business, I suspect that Callum Winton might be a little bit confused.

I don’t mean that in a nasty ‘mental’ tag way, I mean… well, just take a look at this account of Winton’s as related by The Sun:

(Do keep in mind that the police line Winton returns to is in the process of herding the crowd as part of a kettling operation, and that they drove Tomlinson before them after one of their number had assaulted him. In other words, the police have contributed to Tomlinson’s condition, and created the circumstances that allegedly make it difficult to reach him. All of this applies regardless of what is thrown where and when.)

But when cops struggled through the crowd to reach him, they were pelted with missiles. They finally got to him and set up a cordon as two ambulances rushed to the scene… Photographer Callum Winton, 37, said: “A guy was lying on the ground. His eyes were glazed over, he didn’t look at all well. I told the police and they tried to reach him — but were being forced back by the protesters. There were bottles and missiles raining down on them.” – Callum Winton as quoted by The Sun

Now, this statement and the way it’s presented/introduced allows for (and appears to specifically, if clumsily, describe) circumstances where multiple glass missiles and/or bottles were thrown and/or police were impeded to some extent some distance from Tomlinson, before he was surrounded and treated by police. But remember that the day before it was published, Callum Winton had written on his weblog that he had witnessed this barrage of missiles during the period in which he was surrounded/treated by police:

“I took [this picture] while the police were working on reviving the man amid flying bottles and breaking glass.” – Callum Winton on his blog (source)

The evidence would suggest that Callum missed the assault and the collapse, but then happened across the (lone?) prone figure of Ian Tomlinson, took a few pictures, went to get help, witnessed the smashing of bottles at some stage some distance away from Tomlinson, before returning to witness the treatment of Tomlinson by police, seeing a single plastic bottle thrown at that moment and later compressing/conflating the two events to unfortunate effect.

The “beer bottles and cans” are likely to be a fanciful addition to the tale courtesy of the tabloid press, but it is equally possible that Callum Winton registered the way Ian Tomlinson looked or smelled (and/or the people around him talking of Tomlinson’s drunken state) on some level, conscious or not, and simply added the word ‘beer’ to ‘bottle’ without even thinking about what this might imply.

Winton had not witnessed the assault and did not even register the crowd’s reaction to it (which is a likely cause of any extraordinary disturbance Winton describes when he goes to fetch the police from the same location where police have stood by after one of their own assaulted a member of the public).

Further, Winton appears to be a stranger to the lifestyle of Ian Tomlinson and your typical socially-conscious protestor**. It would be very easy for a man in his position to confuse, blur or totally misunderstand the relationship between an apparently drunken man and a crowd that appears (to him) to be angry for no good reason.

(**Note – on the latter, he has consistently described the day as “the G20 riots” in his communication with me.)

So please understand that I’m not judging or demonising Mr Winton, but I really think that he should spend some time thinking about the statements he has volunteered to the newspapers and to the IPCC, and seriously considering clarifying them, at least to the extent that they don’t appear quite so contradictory.

And I’m not going to hold my breath, but The Sun really needs to withdraw that claim that “police were battered with beer bottles and cans as they desperately tried to save a dying man” if they can’t produce a witness or evidence to back it up.

Ditto for any implication that he was “knocked to the floor amid the mob” by anyone but a policeman.








Posted in The War on Stupid | 7 Comments

Here are the main points that Iain Dale refuses to discuss

[Psst! See also: what Iain still describes as a spam/DOS attack]

Yes, I called and emailed Iain. A lot.

And I regard that to be entirely fair, because he had a lot of explaining to do.

He still does:

1.

On 18 March 2009, Iain Dale agreed to get in touch with the Conservative MP Patrick Mercer and warn him that ‘terror expert’ Glen Jenvey was a loose cannon, falsely accusing me of being a convicted paedophile, and likely to do him significant political damage. Despite my explaining it to Iain that I needed him to do this because I was having trouble getting past Mercer’s staff, Iain decided that he would not contact Mercer directly and would instead talk to his staff… who did not pass his message on.

Some people (mostly anonymous people) have been suggesting that it was Iain’s business if he didn’t want to get involved, but he did get involved. Further, he promised to do a specific thing to help, didn’t do that, and then lied about it.

Regardless of what Iain was thinking when he contacted Mercer’s staff instead of Mercer himself as requested, I responded to Iain’s eventual ‘contact made’ email by leaving him in no doubt that I now believed that Patrick Mercer was aware of Jenvey’s actions. Iain knew this wasn’t the case, but he let me carrying on thinking it.

Why? Was he hoping that I’d falsely accuse Mercer of being a willing participant in the smears? Or did he simply not think or care enough about the incident to help me properly or correct me when I was falsely under the impression that he had completed an agreed task?

I let this go at the time, partly because I had police and ISPs and webmasters and newspaper editors to chase, plus I had only just ‘met’ Mercer and couldn’t be sure who was telling the truth when I finally reached Mercer myself and he claimed it was the first he’d heard of any of it.

Later, I confronted Iain about all of this, but he refused to discuss it beyond this single email that raised more questions than it answered.

2.

One of the questions raised by Iain’s brief description of the action that he did take was why exactly Patrick Mercer’s staff weren’t passing my correspondence on or even discussing the issue with their boss.

– When I produced proof of Glen Jenvey falsifying evidence of extremism, they didn’t pass any of it on.

– When I produced and later authenticated audio of Glen Jenvey boasting about several things, including his use of an alias (‘Richard Tims’) that he had earlier denied using, they didn’t pass any of it on.

– When I named Jenvey’s accomplicethe younger brother of a man who sits on Mercer’s executive committee – they didn’t pass any of it on.

– When, after I named Jenvey’s accomplice and anonymous claims that I was a paedophile immediately started appearing and were also reliably linked to Jenvey, they didn’t pass any of that information on, either!

But only Iain knows what was said to whom on that last and quite crucial occasion… and he’s not talking.

He even repeatedly refused to take my calls when I was literally begging him to cooperate with me, just to the extent of helping me fill two gaps in the revised statement I was due to give to police after the Easter weekend.

A claim popped up at one stage that Iain was sharing information with Jenvey, but I had every reason to distrust it and said so to Iain. I repeatedly explained to Iain that I would probably only be including his name and contact details in the statement if he left me with no choice but to put this data in the gaps left by the account/answers he refused to give me.

In other words, Iain forced me advise the police that they would have to ask him personally what happened that day if they wanted to know, because your mother Iain isn’t speaking to me. Pretty rich from a man who often complains bitterly about wasted/squandered resources paid for by the taxpayer, and extraordinarily childish and petty to boot.

Iain later made this false claim (in comments here) as part of his justification for the ‘parish notice’ hissy fit;

“[Tim] has told the Police that I am conspiring with the person who has been smearing him.”

This is not true. Further, Iain knows that I suspected him only because I was amazed at how evasive he was being (still!), and that I called and emailed him many times at one stage because he refused to even acknowledge receipt of an email that explained this point to him in some detail:

I was trying to avoid including Iain Dale in the statement, but his refusal to communicate left me with no choice (regardless of what I may or may not believe about what his intentions are/were).

3.

More recently, Iain Dale has been refusing to confirm or deny if any of Glen Jenvey’s paedo-smears were submitted to his website, and if so, when.

I mainly need this to draw up a complete picture of when and where these smears appeared. I do not blame Iain for allowing the smears to go live any more than I blame any of the other webmasters who found themselves hosting these smears, but he and Paul Staines are the only likely recipients refusing to confirm or deny receipt of these smears.

4.

As the ‘smeargate’ campaign spiralled out of control, Iain Dale was making false claims based on single sources and seeing them into print, and many lazy journalists were taking what was claimed on various right-wing blogs and either airing it with a half-hearted health warning or taking the claim(s) at face value.

Meanwhile, familiar faces started appearing on the Paul Staines order-order.com website repeating ugly claims that I’m secretly in the pay/employ of Downing Street, the Labour party and/or the government/party via a certain Cabinet Minister (the same one Dale was publishing false claims about).

Several claims also rewrote history to the extent of painting me as a supporter of Derek Draper, when the opposite is true and was true even before ‘smeargate’.

I took the position that I was no longer going to stand for these false claims, especially in the current climate, on the websites of Paul Staines or Iain Dale or anyone else likely to be taken far too seriously by the press.

At the same time that Iain Dale was making out that I had no good reason to repeatedly call and email him (and pretending that I was threatening him with anything other than calling him to account, publicising his antics and/or greatly complicating the techniques he uses to have others do his dirty work for him under comments), Paul Staines was deleting all such claims from his website. Yes, that Paul Staines. Everybody who is anybody in British political blogging knows how difficult it is to get Staines to take such things seriously without a legal letter, and that he is not likely to want to do me any favours.

So surely Iain Dale can appreciate that I might have a point about any similar claims published on his website… but he doesn’t even want to talk about it.

Iain has taken this long past any point where he can contend with any credibility that I’m having a go at him just because he’s a Tory and/or that I’m jealous of his success and/or that I’m just trying to get at him because I’ve been hiding my medication inside lumps of uneaten gristle and the voices keep telling me that he’s the Antichrist.

He’s also got a nerve pretending (yet again) that I have been unreasonable about this at any/every stage rather than quite upset at one final stage after being dragged to the end of my tether by his continued pretence of ‘ignoring’ me while publishing false claims about me in his website.

And yes, he damn well owes me some answers.

I don’t plan on quitting until I get them, and here’s one good reason why:

When Usmanov knocked me offline, a couple of jackals took it upon themselves to take the opportunity to make false claims about me when my website was down.

The sharp-eyed among you will have noticed that there are others who have a grudge against me who are also taking advantage of the Jenvey smears.

Regardless of how much of any of this results from Iain Dale taking advantage of the Jenvey smears etc., I cannot afford to send a signal that I will allow any false claim about me to stand unchallenged on any widely-read site that enjoys mainstream credibility.

Iain Dale must respond. He’s the editor of a mainstream magazine (that brands itself as politically neutral, no less). What choice does he have?

I’ll be in his face and complicating his every effort to play this down and carry on with business as usual until he does. What choice do I have?

(Psst! If anyone wants to play the peacemaker, please keep in mind that the path to a resolution involves what Iain has been avoiding all this time; dialogue.)








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 8 Comments

Police badge numbers: accountable parties call for context

Channel 4 – Police badge-covering condemned

The chief inspector of police describes some of the behaviour of police officers at the G20 protests as “unacceptable”.

Taking questions from MPs on the home affairs select committee, Mr O’Connor also said it was “totally unacceptable” for police officers to conceal their number IDs, as several of them appeared to be doing during the protests.

But London Mayor Boris Johnson has been defending the overall police handling of the protests.

Boris link here.

I think it’s entirely fair to expect an inquiry into the police not wearing badge numbers, the frequency with which this happened on the day and in general, and the possible causes behind it. Ditto for the known use of unnecessary force and the not-unrelated use of ‘kettling’ as a tactic.

Also, most of the negative PR concerning the police has resulted from their own efforts to skew the debate!








Posted in The War on Stupid | 1 Comment

Bishopsgate Police Station

Bishopsgate Police Station (via)

Bishopsgate Police Station. Bishopsgate Police Station. Bishopsgate Police Station.

Continue reading








Posted in The War on Stupid | 14 Comments

Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) is clearly faking it for ‘smeargate’

YouTube – Paul Staines, smears and ‘smeargate’

Days after the 2006 podcast featured in this clip, it was revealed that the target of these smears had sex with men, and Paul Staines fronted up to the world (behind his mask, natch) and asked; “Did it hint enough?”

So on top of everything else, Paul Staines needs it explained to him that being homosexual/bisexual does not make you a paedophile.

(Paul also seems to think that having a dash of minority about you makes it impossible for you to be racist, but that’s for another time.)

The only thing that makes this smear from Paul Staines (and Alex Hilton) in any way rare is the fact that we have audio of it, because Paul Staines regularly publishes peristant smears on his website, and I’ve had to take action over these myself recently:

Stephen Tall – Paul Staines: not the Messiah, just a very naughty boy

Paul Staines is a libertarian who will happily peddle smears that undermine governments, any government and any political party. That’s his role, and one he is eminently comfortable fulfilling.

Paul Staines also has a vested interest in upping page views in order to boost his advertising revenue via the banner advertising network MessageSpace (in which he plays a murky but integral part), and he must know the value of the page loads generated by his policy of allowing people to smear just about anyone under comments on his website. Only a fool would fail to recognise the draw of a widely-read website that allows Westminster wannabes to share unsubstantiated rumours…. and/or how unsubstantiated rumours evolve into ‘open secrets’ via the simple process of repetition from multiple* sources.

(*Or single people pretending to be multiple sources, right Paul?)

Paul Linford – Smeargate was a car crash waiting to happen

Back in 2007, Guido spent months attempting to convince his blog’s many readers that Gordon Brown had been photographed on a rocking horse wearing a nappy, and to utilise the power of search engine optimisation and Google to spread this ridiculous tale across the entire internet. It even made it onto Wikipedia, and when I tried to remove it, some patsy came along and reverted my edit.

He also gave house-room to a sock puppet called “Stanislav” who suggested, in one particularly disgusting post, that the Prime Minister had been steadily driven mad by the strain of repressing his “homosexuality” over many years – part of a deadly serious attempt by the right to fix the idea of Gordon as a “weirdo” in the public’s mind.

None of this in any way excuses the suggestion that David Cameron is suffering from some embarrassing health complaint. But it does put it into perspective, and should serve as a corrective to those tempted to hail Guido as the new conscience of British public life.

Paul Staines’ repeated claim that he is not responsible for the content of comments because he doesn’t read them is eighteen flavours of flatulence, not least because he’s pretty damn quick to delete any comments that highlight less-than-flattering data about him and/or his close mates.

It’s also a bit of a fib, because he’s led the little ‘rocking horse’ game himself by commenting about it and
blogging about it. Under his main nickname and everything. This time.

Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) is a hypocritical spin-doctoring smear merchant, an unapologetic drunkard, a danger to shipping… and our new sheriff.

After years of nicking stuff from Private Eye and then loftily sniffing that he does not even read that magazine, he’s now being heralded in some places as its replacement.

Of course, this absurd level of praise comes to us from the site of the same man who now touts Alex Hilton as the natural choice to fill the void left by the departure of Derek Draper, so there’s a very real possibility that some or all of what you’re reading could be influenced to some small degree by self-serving political/professional propaganda.

(Sorry to go off like a totally nutty conspiracy theorist and all that.)

UPDATE – This is an unrelated item that belongs here anyway. More on Iain ‘half of the story‘ Dale later.








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | Comments Off